SVA alumnus Vashtie Kola (BFA 2004 Film and Video) is a very busy woman. Aside from directing music videos, planning parties (sometimes with rapper Q-Tip as co-host and DJ), and running her own clothing line (Violette), she’s also an active blogger and getting ready to direct her first feature film. On top of all that, she’s the first woman to ever design an Air Jordan sneaker.
Kola explains her drive as the result of being the child of immigrants from Trinidad. “It was always a struggle for me trying to understand who they were, why we didn’t understand each other,” she told NY1’s Budd Mishkin. “They said ‘you’re a lazy American child, you need to be working, doing X, Y, Z.’ So, early on I had this work ethic of working really hard.”
Now known to many as “Downtown’s Sweetheart,” Kola has also drawn inspiration from the city itself. “I felt like the weirdest kid in Albany, then I moved to New York and I felt like the most normal person here,” she said. “You can be so awkward and weird in your own city and then you come here and you are totally normal.”
To watch the video of the full interview with Kola, visit NY1.